Legislative Issues


tHE 2019 lEGISLATIVE SESSION CONVENED ON JANUARY 9, 2019

Through legislative and state government initiatives, BIAC works to improve the quality of life for people living with brain injuries while supporting initiatives to help prevent brain injuries from occurring. Information about current legislative efforts will be posted as it is available below.  The content may change or be updated as we gather new information. Go to the Archives for information on previous sessions.  For information on the ABI Waiver, click here.

While Governor Lamont has included level funding for Services for Persons with Disabilities in his budget proposal, this funding is still 40% less than BIAC received in 2017.  We continue to advocate for more funding in order to be able to to continue serving the people of Connecticut.
Public Hearing Testimony of Julie Peters
Public Hearing Testimony of Bonnie Meyers

HB 7140: AN ACT CONCERNING RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION REGARDING SEAT BELTS, MOTORCYCLE HELMETS, THE OPERATION LIFESAVER PROGRAM, MAINTENANCE VEHICLES AND TRANSPORTATION STATUTESWhile Governor Lamont BIAC has joined efforts with a stateside coalition committed to advocating for the introduction and passing of state legislation for universal mandatory motorcycle helmet laws.  Research consistently shows that full head protection saves lives as well as minimizes any potential injury to the brain during a motorcycle crash.  This bill would mandate the use of a motorcycle helmet for all motorcycle riders and pasengers in Connecitcut.  The proposed bill also includes expanding mandatory seat belt use to all passengers, including those int he back seat-regardless of age.  Opponents of a universal helmet law have been extremely vocal in their opposition to this bill. UNFORTUNATELY ALL LANGUAGE RELATED TO MOTORCYCLE HELMETS IN THIS BILL WAS REMOVED ON APRIL 8TH.
A Public Hearing was held on Monday, February 25th, with testimony the following testimony:
Read BIAC Testimony regarding Helmets from Julie Peters, Executive Director
‚ÄčRead BIAC Testimony from Bonnie Meyers, Director of Programs and Services
Read Testimony from BIAC Board Chair Sarah Raskin

HB 6161:  AN ACT REQUIRING THE USE OF HELMETS BY MOTORCYCLE OPERATORS AND PASSENGERS UNDER TWENTY-ONE YEARS BIAC does not support this bill as currently written, because it only requires helmet use by those under 21.  We know that the vast majority of injuries and deaths are by riders over 21, and, if we agree that protecting our youth is important, we should believe that protecting all riders is as important.  Our Coaltion is working with legislators to amend this bill to include all riders. Please Contact your Legislator TODAY and ask them to SUPPORT HB 6161 with Amendment to include all riders, because it will save lives, reduce traumatic brain injuries and save the State money.   

Other Bills of note:

HB 7196:  AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH'S RECOMMENDATION REGARDING SEATBELTS.  To require seatbelts for all passengers in a motor vehicle.  BIAC Supports.  BIAC Testimony.

HB 7004:  AN ACT CONCERNING CONCUSSION EDUCATION FOR COACHES OF CERTAIN YOUTH ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES. To require youth coaches of youth athletic activities conducted on fields, courts and recreational areas owned, operated or managed by municipalities to annually view an informational video regarding concussions.  BIAC Opposes.  BIAC Testimony.

SB 396:  AN ACT CONCERNING SUDDEN UNEXPECTED DEATH IN EPILEPSY. To require a medical examiner to make a determination as to whether a deceased person with epilepsy or a history of seizures suffered a sudden, unexpected death in epilepsy. BIAC Supports.  BIAC Testimony.

 

BIAC is concerned with issues that remain significant barriers to individuals with disabilities in Connecticut.  To this end, we oppose legislation that negatively impacts individuals with disabilities and those who have low income.

Brain injuries are not just a medical issue. A brain injury can affect every aspect of a person's life (e.g., legal, education, employment, social and family relationships, emotional health, and mobility). Connecticut continues to lag behind many states in its services for individuals with brain injuries.  For these reasons, we support legislation which would increase the opportunities for individuals to be able to remain in their own communities, have access to transportation, housing and receive the services they need.

If you have any questions regarding any of these issues, please contact BIAC at 860-219-0291 or jpeters@biact.org

For information about communicating with elected officials Find Your Legislator